Spokane, WA (January 8, 2013) – Despite outrebounding the Pirates 52 to 34, the Whitman Women's Basketball team suffered its first conference loss of the season at Whitworth tonight, 59 – 56. The loss drops the No.19 ranked Missionaries to 4 – 1 in conference and 12 – 2 on the season, leaving them still in first place, a half-game in front of Lewis & Clark and George Fox – both 3 – 1.
Sarah Anderegg, Jr.
With the victory, Whitworth improves to 3 – 2 in the NWC, claiming a firm grasp on fourth place, and 10 – 4 on the season.
The 56 points for the Missionaries is their lowest scoring output of the season, their previous low of 58 coming in their only other loss, an overtime affair at Eastern Oregon University.
The Pirates held off two Whitman threats in a tightly contested game that saw the Bucs lead by no more than 7 at any time in the second half. Whitworth looked to pull away when Emily Travis hit a jumper to give Whitworth a 46 – 39 advantage with 6:01 left to play, but the Missionaries ripped off seven straight to pull even with 4:27 on the clock when Sarah Anderegg (Jr, Redmond, WA) converted a layup, following two free-throws of her own, a freebie from Heather Johns (So, W. Richland, WA) and a Johns' layup that ignited the run.
Travis hit a pair of free-throws moments later to give Whitworth the lead again at 48 – 46 and the Pirates were able to stretch their lead back out to six with less than a minute to play. Mary Madden (Sr, Huntington Beach, CA) drilled a three-pointer for Whitman to cut the lead to three, 57 – 54, with :37 left on the clock. Kendra Knutsen was fouled. She made the first, but missed the second, and the Missionaries had the ball with :29 left, down by four. They were off the mark on their first two shots. After a second offensive rebound, Madden sank a jumper but only :08 remained. Travis was fouled and made one free-throw to provide the final margin.
Whitman led at the half 29 – 28 after jumping out to an early 8 to nothing lead, but the Bucs took the lead for good 30 – 29 on a Kayla Johnson layup just 24 seconds into the second half.
Meghan White, Jr.
Both teams' defenses smothered the opposing offenses. Whitman shot 30 % for the game (15-of-50) and Whitworth only 27 % (16-of-59), but the Pirates won the turnover battle forcing 22 Whitman turnovers while only committing 11 of their own.
The Missionaries ruled the boards with a 22 rebound edge. Junior Meghan White(Jr, Huntington Beach, CA) led Whitman with 10 – 8 on the defensive end, Johns had 8 and Anderegg 7. In the scoring column, Anderegg led the Whitties with 18, Johns 10, and Madden and Tiffani Traver (Jr, Oregon City, OR) each had 9. Anderegg made her living at the line, sinking 12- of-16.
Travis equaled Anderegg for game-high honors with 18. She was the only Pirate to hit double-figures. Johnson tallied 9.
The Missionaries complete their toughest stretch of the season when they play their fourth consecutive road game over an 8-day period at George Fox this Saturday. Tip is at 4 pm.